THE BLOG

January 15, 2019

Where have we been?

Design

If you are a fan of our blog, you may have noticed a long absence. Carmen, who does the blogging, has been dealing with a hard-to-diagnose back/leg issue that has had her out of commission. Lenore has been busy with exciting projects tha...

October 11, 2018

Budget Right the First Time

Design

Getting the renovation budget right the first time will save lots of headaches down the road. Learn where to start in Part 1 of the Lenore Brooks Design budgeting series....

August 30, 2018

A Nomadic Office

Design, The Structured Space

The next phase of my ADHD-friendly office redesign is to create a “nomadic office.” Once it’s fully functional, I think it’s going to rival my standing desk as a work-flow game changer! Lenore developed the concept of a Nomadic Office in...

August 9, 2018

At the Beach!

Design

I hope you are having a wonderful summer! We are currently enjoying a little down time, but check back soon for some major updates to the home office project, and a cool Ikea hack!...

August 3, 2018

Spray Paint Indoors

Design

Can you use spray paint indoors? This might not seem like a common homeowner question, but it comes up more often than you would think! You might associate “spray paint” with graffiti, but a surprising number of homeowners find themselve...

July 26, 2018

Reviving Wood: how to use teak oil

Design

Before replacing worn-looking teak furniture, give refinishing it a try! Refinishing teak is easy and satisfying. Teak was a popular wood in the late 20th century and was used for everything from furniture to cabinetry to decking. Sadly ...

July 19, 2018

Our No. 1 Tip to Repel Wasps

DIY

Wasps are usually an outdoor problem, of course, but it’s summer! A time when interiors and exteriors are far more open to one another. Perhaps surprisingly, wasps are actually a beneficial insect. They eat virtually all pest insects and...

July 12, 2018

How’s YOUR summer going?

Design

I’ll be honest with you (Carmen here)… my summer has been a bit hectic! We found out that the improperly installed patio door had spent years leaking water onto the joists that held it up and those joists were no more… for about 6-8 inch...

July 5, 2018

3 Reasons Why Designers Want Final Say

Design

Many design contracts have a clause that says the designer must have approval of all samples, or that the client is not to shop on their own for the project. If you have a designer who assures you that they want to listen to you and embr...

June 28, 2018

Comfortable Layouts

Design

Do you have a favourite spot in your house? A least favourite spot? Perhaps your guests tend to gravitate to one area, maybe despite your efforts to create a gathering zone somewhere else. In our last post, we talked about focus and flow...

June 21, 2018

10 Tips for Great Furniture Layout

Design

Have you ever felt frustrated with a room and found it hard to get the furniture in the right place? There’s a bit of an art to furniture layout, but we’ve got some basic tips to get you started. Two of the most important things in a roo...

June 14, 2018

Zones and Open Layouts

Room Layout

Zones are the starting place for layout design. They are areas where a particular activity or set of activities happen. We’ve talked before about zones in kitchens. Today, we’ll look at how we created several zones in an open-concept fam...

June 7, 2018

How to create good temporary clothes storage

Design

In many bedrooms, clothes make up a huge percentage of the clutter. One way to tame that clutter is to create a space where you can put clothes that aren’t quite dirty enough for laundry but aren’t quite clean enough to put away. We’ve ...

May 23, 2018

Colour Us Sick

Decorating

An unpleasant head cold sweeps its way through our families here at Lenore Brooks Design. As our ability to get things done slows, I am reminded of college when I often had to work through an illness. I remember particularly a large solo...

May 16, 2018

Curated Collections

Art

In our post about decluttering, I mentioned that the Konmari method is often mistaken for minimalism, but it is actually a method for creating a highly curated collection of personal property. What’s the difference? Well, we find the Vog...

May 2, 2018

The Whys and Hows of Permits

Design, DIY

Whether you’re doing a project yourself or hiring a contractor, getting the correct permits is an important step. As a designer, Lenore has worked mainly with professionals who wouldn’t think of doing work without the necessary permits. ...

April 16, 2018

Spring and the Urge to Declutter

How To

As the spring days brighten, natural light streams into our spaces, showing us anew what has been cast in shadow all winter. With that can come a renewed awareness: dust bunnies everywhere! Things out of place! Why are there sixteen loos...

April 6, 2018

Office Design Update

The Structured Space

Creating a supportive environment is not a quick fix, so as much as I want to do a big reveal of the new office, it’s still a work in progress. Today I’ll share what we’ve changed and how we’re going forward, because working in stages is...

April 3, 2018

Repair or Replace? Kitchen Edition

Kitchens

When you move into a new home with an ugly kitchen, it’s easy to feel like tearing it out and rebuilding from scratch. But we recommend living with a kitchen for up to a year before making any major changes. Why? Because problems of styl...

March 27, 2018

The Language of Lighting

Design

Lighting can get really technical, really quickly. This post will get you started on the basics of residential lighting, so you’ll be ready to talk to a designer, electrician, or lighting retailer about your project. Colour Temperature (...

March 20, 2018

Planning for Lighting

Design

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when decorating or renovating, but lighting design can make or break a project. Lighting affects how well we can use our space, and how we feel in it. So this week we decided to talk to ou...

March 13, 2018

The Structured Space

The Structured Space

If you are diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, one of the first pieces of advice you’re going to come across is to create a structured environment. But a lot of the practical how-tos on doing so are aimed at kids. There’s plenty of advice a...

March 6, 2018

Should resale value determine your design?

Design

Conventional wisdom tells us to consider the resale value of your renovations. This can mean anything from painting in neutral colours to adding an addition you don’t want… but is it good advice? We think not! Reasons to Renovate On this...

February 27, 2018

5 Reasons to Hire a Designer for Small Projects

Design

Do you really need a designer for your small project? Ultimately, the decision is up to you. But here are 5 things you might not have thought of to help you figure out if hiring a designer is right for your small project. Benefits to sma...

February 20, 2018

Three First Steps for Every Home Reno

Design

If you’re like me (Carmen here), you probably start dreaming of your home renovation by flipping through the IKEA catalog, your favourite design magazines, or searching Pinterest. And who could blame us? Beautiful finishes are what make ...

February 13, 2018

The Three Seasons of Renovation

Design, DIY

Whether you are considering a large scale project with contractors, DIY projects, or just some regular home maintenance, the phases of your projects can be more suited to one time of year than another. Understand these seasons can help y...

February 6, 2018

How to paint a wall

How To, Staging, , ,

In my role as a colour consultant, I get a lot of questions about the best painting techniques. As an avid DIY painter of my own home, I do have several tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years. Perhaps the most surprising thing to mo...

January 30, 2018

A fresh face at LBD

The Structured Space

Hi! This is a post to introduce myself, Carmen Nave, to you. Lenore is my sister, and I’m joining her as a partner in Lenore Brooks Design. Who I am Obviously, like Lenore, I grew up in a DIY loving family that moved a lot, so I also hav...

February 23, 2017

Colours of the Year

Decorating, Design

Each year, companies like Pantone, Benjamin Moore and Dulux start rolling out their colour of the year with accompanying palettes. How should you incorporate these into your designs? Colour trends in paint and beyond Let’s look at what...

February 8, 2017

What a show! IDS 2017

Design

After attending this year’s Interior Design Show in Toronto, I have come away with a bag full of specifications and a head full of ideas. From new innovative products to prototypes yet to be launched in the market, it’s a fun way to st...

December 2, 2016

Hygge and holiday decorating

Decorating, Holidays

Hygge is a Danish word that is taking the world by storm.  It is a philosophy of living that is being written about in books and even taught in some universities. It is pronounced Hoo-ga (just imagine the Swedish chef saying “hug”) ...

November 25, 2016

Picture-perfect inspiration

Decorating, Holidays

As November draws to a close and winter weather starts creeping in with the subtlety of a sledge hammer, my thoughts inevitably turn towards holiday decorating. I love creating a warm and cosy atmosphere in my home, but in this post, I w...

November 11, 2016

Why your designer asks “why”

Design

During initial planning meetings, there is an inevitable moment when you say you like something and your designer turns to you and asks “why?” Sometimes this can feel like a challenge or a judgement, but it’s not! For a designer, the rea...

November 4, 2016

How to Prepare for a Design Consultation

Design

Interior design scope and costs can vary a lot. Before hiring a designer, you will have a meeting to discuss the project and get a quote. There are three essential questions you should be prepared to answer in order too make the most of ...

October 20, 2016

An October Design Round Up

Art, Design, Waterloo Region

October has been a big month for me. I’ve been working on multiple design projects, creating new products for the K-W Central Art Walk, and of course, getting my social media presence going. I love participating in the Art Walk, because ...

October 13, 2016

Staging and missing pieces

How To, Staging

A lot of staging articles focus on how to reduce your stuff. But even if you’re selling an occupied home, it is possible to have the opposite problem: not enough stuff. Staging is about telling a story, which requires the right balance...

October 6, 2016

Fundamentals of Staging, Part 3

How To, Staging

Depersonalizing Once you’ve decluttered and deep cleaned, the final piece of the puzzle is to depersonalize. While the first two are relatively straight forward, I’ve found a lot of bad advice out there on the subject of depersonalizing....

September 28, 2016

Fundamentals of Staging, Part 2

How To, Staging

How To Deep Clean One of the first pieces of advice that you’ll get when you’re selling a home is to clean it. But the sort of cleaning you do to sell needs to go a little farther than your regular housework. I call this “deep cleaning,”...

September 21, 2016

Fundamentals of Staging, Part 1

How To, Staging

How to Declutter I don’t know about you, but when I’m decluttering my house as part of my general housecleaning, this is usually how it goes: Sort the stacks of papers that seem to accumulate everywhere and put them in a “to file...

March 28, 2016

What is staging?

Staging

The other day, I told a new acquaintance I was a home stager and heard a horror story: their friend had hired a stager who insisted that they buy new furniture for every room! I don’t know about you, but moving is stressful enough with...